Beef and Onion Sauce


Sometimes you find an amazing recipe while looking at books printed after 1700. It can happen. An onion sauce called “La genovese” is amazing but I couldn’t help but thinking a recipe that is primarily beef and onions, flavoured with wine has to have a medieval recipe equivalent.

I love it when traditional foods are really traditional!

I didn’t find an Italian recipe (yet!) but I did find this English one from A Book of Cookrye

“To stue a hinflank of Beefe without fruit. Boyle your flank of Beef very tender, till the broth be almost consumed, then put the broth into a pipkin, and put to it Onions, Caret roots shred small, being tender sodden before, and pepper groce beaten, vergious, and halfe a dish of sweet butter, and so lay it upon.”

* 3 lb beef roast
* 1 tbsp salt
* 3 lb onions, peeled and roughly chopped
* 2 cups of carrots, grated
* Pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup verjuice (or dry wine)
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter


  1. Place roast in a large pot, and cover with water and the salt. Bring pot to a boil on high, cover pot with lid, and then reduce heat to medium and simmer roast until it starts to split apart when you poke it (approximately 3 hours).
  2. After cooking beef for 2 hours, put onions, carrots, and pepper into a different large pot and cover them with water. Place onion-pot on medium-low heat and simmer until beef is starting to fall apart. Add water if onion-pot is  drying out.
  3.  After beef has cooked for 3 hours (and is starting to split when poked) add onion mixture, verjuice and butter to bigger beef pot. Simmer together to reduce liquid and until beef is able to be shredded with a fork (approximately 45 minutes-1 hour).
  4. Once beef is falling apart on its own,  shred all the beef with a fork and mix it into the rest of the sauce. Serve hot.

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